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A poetic debate

We’ve written about the Route 238/Foothill Freeway/Caltrans controversy many, many, many times in the past several decades, but never in iambic pentameter.

This morning, I received an anonymous e-mail poem poking fun at the debate and particularly Quarry Village, the car-free, ecologically oriented housing development proposed by freeway opponent Sherman Lewis and his Hayward Area Planning Association.

LAMENT TO THE 238 BYPASS

O HAPA guru upon the hill,
Tell again how you would foot the bill
To load a thousand homes onto 29 acres
While relegating autos to other plan makers.

Liquefaction causes wet ‘blue rock’ to flow deep,
not unlike water, we will watch it sweep,
all before it, onto investments below
betraying the fable of they who crow,

“Save open space!
Take 238 Bypass to another place!”
Yelled they, who could not care less
about augmentation of our present traffic mess.

If this was in an anthology, it would require numerous footnotes. Fortunately, we’re just a blog. Got a “local issue” poem you want to submit to The HayWord? Send it to mattobrien@dailyreviewonline.com.

UPDATE: A reader informs me that the above is not, in fact, iambic pentameter:

An iamb is a meter consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable (or a short followed by a long). Without the appropriate accent marks here, I’ll represent it as ( ~ / ). Iambic pentameter means there are five of these beats to a line.

~ / ~ / ~ / ~ / ~ /
O HA PA gu ru high up on the hill

~ / ~ / ~ / ~ / ~ /
Tell us a gain how you would foot the bill

As you can see, I adjusted the first two lines to fit more perfectly. It functions as a cute rhyming poem just as it is, but it is not purely iambic pentameter.